In the midst of a severe economic crisis, Lebanon has been left without electricity, throwing the country into darkness.
According to Reuters, the country’s two major power plants, Deir Ammar and Zahrani, were forced to shut down due to a fuel shortage.
He said the power grid “completely stopped working at noon today” and wouldn’t be back up for several days.
Lebanon has been suffering from a severe economic crisis for the past 18 months, which has worsened due to gasoline shortages.
That crisis has pushed half of the country’s people into poverty, weakened its currency, and spurred massive anti-government protests. Meanwhile, a lack of foreign currency has made it difficult to pay overseas energy providers.
Many people in Lebanon already rely on private diesel generators for power. However, due to fuel shortages, these have grown increasingly expensive to operate and cannot compensate for the lack of a nationwide power system.
Before the latest shutdown, people in the country were getting as little as two hours of electricity every day. The country is also dealing with the fallout from the August 2020 Beirut bombing, which killed 219 people and injured 7,000 more.
Following the explosion, the administration resigned, resulting in political gridlock. Najib Mikati took office as Prime Minister in September, more than a year after the previous government resigned.
Hezbollah, a militant group, smuggled Iranian petroleum into Lebanon last month to help alleviate shortages. Opponents claim that the group is attempting to increase its power through fuel distribution.